July 03, 2023
Chef Marian Zăncianu, ZORI Restaurant: We serve you fine dining, from ZORI in the final, tie break interview
Marian Zăncianu, founder and chef of Zori Restaurant, partner CONCORD IASI OPEN and BCR IASI OPEN
How was ZORI founded? What inspired you to start your entrepreneurial journey and how has that initial inspiration developed over time?
Marian Zăncianu: The ZORI restaurant was founded on a start-up project, in the midst of a pandemic, and it was like a kind of train that if I didn't get on, there was a good chance it would never pass through my life. I got into it without any baggage with me to make the journey more comfortable.
Only with the know-how acquired in the 10 years of experience I had then and with the super strong desire to have a place of my own, where I can express myself as I feel, where I can create without limits, in that can bring evolution and knowledge to those who will cross the threshold.
I have never lacked inspiration in this job, but the challenges that came with it on the entrepreneurial road were enormous. Sometimes even overwhelmingly many.
When you're alone on this road, having to build things from scratch, self-fund, and find your inspiration in all this chaos, I think dreaming was the fuel that made me find ways to push it forward.
2. ZORI's mission and vision
Marian Zăncianu: ZORI's main mission is to bring evolution and new gastronomic perspectives to the local market, then to become a national reference point on the Romanian gastronomy map.
ZORI appeared to show people that food can be an experience in itself, that it can be more than the conventional dishes that monopolized almost all menus in the city.
Eating and dining out should be seen as a ritual through which we can increase our need for wellbeing and indulgence. Fresh ingredients, tastes and textures, put together correctly, can take us through different moods and create emotions that make us feel the act of eating itself as a gesture of gratitude and appreciation that we give ourselves nine. In our vision, ZORI is that place, where those who cross its threshold manage to look.
3. What steps do you take to stay ahead of the competition and stay innovative in your approach?
Marian Zăncianu: I don't refer to the competition when I implement things at ZORI. I refer to what would fit in the place I created, in accordance with my dream and vision.
And if I have to look somewhere when I want to bring about changes, then I look at what is happening in countries with a gastronomy-oriented culture, where eating out is part of their lifestyle. Where what happens around the table matters more than how the place where they serve the meal looks.
4. What do the Iași Open tournaments mean for ZORI and for Iași?
Marian Zăncianu: It means progress, evolution. And that's the direction I resonate with the most. I am extremely happy to see that there are people who move things in my city as well, people who make huge efforts to bring added value and dynamism to the daily life of the people of Iași.
Such a tournament mobilizes the community, opens horizons, repositions us on a micro and macro level, both in terms of sports, social, educational, or as a city identity.
For us, the fact that we are partners in the second edition of BCR IASI OPEN and in the fourth edition of CONCORD IASI OPEN represents a consolidation of the fact that our values are also shared by other people who want to move things locally.
5. How does ZORI work within the Iasi Open to improve the fan experience and create a lasting impression for participants?
Marian Zăncianu: ZORI will provide food for the two finals of the CONCORD IASI OPEN & BCR IASI OPEN tournaments and will host the Players Party.
Practically, for 3 days our team will mobilize to cook and serve dishes that we have created especially for this tournament, which we thought could be enjoyed easily, but which would remain long in the minds of those who they will taste it.
Food is a catalyst for many things in life, if we know how to relate correctly to what we serve. We set out to show the difference between food and something a little more than that.
6. What is ZORI's CTA for tennis fans?
Marian Zăncianu: Regardless of how passionate they are about this sport, an event of such magnitude in our city deserves our full attention and presence.
Therefore, as a local business, we encourage the active participation of the community, because such efforts, both of the players and of the organizers, are only truly meaningful when they receive the appreciation they deserve.
The presence in the stands during the matches is a gesture of appreciation, which is rewarded by the extraordinary excitement and effervescence that is created around the tennis court and within such a competition.
7. How do the values of the ZORI brand intersect with the values of the Iași Open?
Marian Zăncianu: Our values and the values of Iași Open mark many points of intersection, including the desire to bring added value to the community of which we are a part, to change at least a little the optics of those who look at Iași from the outside and not only that.
Even the way residents relate to their own city is directly impacted by such efforts. We further intersect at the point where we contribute to a cultural evolution through the experiences we expose the curious to discover or contribute to.
And to end the loop of similarities, BCR IASI OPEN is only in its second edition, and we understand perfectly how important is the help offered to you at the beginning of the journey.
It is once again our way of giving something back to the community within which we shape our existence.
Extra: What is the recipe for success?
Courage, dreaming, intuition and extremely hard work.